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North Texas tennis splits weekend tilt with Oklahoma and Wisconsin

North Texas tennis splits weekend tilt with Oklahoma and Wisconsin

Senior Alexis Thoma back hands the ball | Kaitlyn Sinclair

North Texas tennis splits weekend tilt with Oklahoma and Wisconsin
February 11
19:38 2017

2/10/17 vs. University of Oklahoma

In a nail biting finish, the North Texas tennis team lost 3-4 to the University of Oklahoma Friday.

The final game-clinching point rested in the hands of sophomore Tamuna Kutubidze. Despite her heroics to tie the match at one set all, Kutubidze could not finish the comeback, falling to Mimi Fotopoulos 6-4 in the final set.

“It hurts losing such a close match,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “But at the same time you have to be really proud about the way we competed as a team. Everyone fought hard.”

Sophomore Maria Kononova provided North Texas’ biggest punch of the day with a 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 16 ranked Lily Miyazaki, making it the highest ranked singles opponent any player defeated in program history.

“I wasn’t nervous, I was excited to play,” Kononova said. “I just wanted to show my best and I did.”

After the Mean Green tied the doubles point against the University of Oklahoma, the sophomores clinched the point for North Texas with a resounding 7-5 win over Miyazaki and Julie Byrne..

Although she paired with Haruka Sasaki to lose the Mean Green’s only doubles match, Senior Alexis Thoma ended her day on a good note. Thoma was able to pick up her first singles win of the season after dropping her first four matches.

“Every team has close wins and losses,” Thoma said.

2/11/17 Wisconsin

One exciting day led way to another, except this time it was the Mean Green who found themselves on the winning side against the University of Wisconsin.

With the score tied at three points all, Thoma found herself in the spotlight again as she brought the win back home for North Texas over the Badgers in the 6-2, 4-6, 7-3 winner-take-all final match.

Saturday marked the first time Thoma won back-to-back games since the Conference USA tournament last April.

The Mean Green also had some help from their freshman Alexandra Heczey. Heczey, who went into Saturday’s matchup with a 2-1 record in singles play, closed out Wisconsin’s senior Sydney Ryder in straight sets.

As for North Texas’ best tag-team, Kononova and Kutubidze have still yet to see a loss together with their match ending after Wisconsin won the first two doubles matches.

Another win in straight sets brought Kononova’s win streak in singles play to a grand total of five and had her head coach gushing about her talent.

“We all see the physical talent and we know that she’s capable, but to do it this quickly against the toughest players is beautiful,” Lama said after Friday’s match.

Next up: North Texas begins a six-game home stand with Kansas State coming to Denton at 2 p.m. Friday.

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Cesar Valdes

Cesar Valdes

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